The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and additional primary dose for immunocompromised children following authorization from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). KDHE has authorized the 2,000+ COVID-19 vaccine providers across Kansas to begin administering the booster shot and additional primary dose to eligible populations.
“It has been proven that that the COVID-19 vaccine is effective and is the best tool to protect you and your loved ones from serious illness, hospitalization and death. Our hospitals continue to report that the large majority of patients hospitalized with COVID, particularly those on ventilators, are not vaccinated,” Janet Stanek, Acting Secretary, said. “Today’s announcement to expand eligibility opens up the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot to an additional 36,000 children who received their primary series at least 5 months ago. The Pfizer booster shot is shown to increase the neutralizing antibodies by 25-fold compared to just two doses. Now is the best time to get the booster shot or get the primary series if you have not gotten it to protect yourself and your family.”
The following updates were made to COVID-19 booster shot eligibility.
- Children ages 12-15 arenow eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine booster. Today, the CDC authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot for children ages 12-15 to be administered 5 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. 36,474 of the 68,476 children who have completed the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series are now eligible to receive the vaccine booster.
- Shortened booster waiting period. People can now receive a booster shot 5 months after completing the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. This change comes following the January 4 announcement by the CDC. The waiting period for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (2 months) or the Moderna vaccine (6 months) has not changed. The CDC has listed the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna as the preferred COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, the CDC allows for mix and match dosing for booster shots.
The following update was made to the additional primary dose eligibility for immunocompromised people.
Moderately or severely immunocompromised children ages 5-11 can now receive an additional primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine administered 28 days after their second shot. This change comes following the January 4 announcement by the CDC.
Click here to find the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility information for primary, additional and booster vaccines.
KDHE continues to urge Kansans to use the following tools to protect against COVID-19 and the Omicron variant.
- Get vaccinated and boosted. Vaccines remain the best tool to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. The authorized COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations, and death. The COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States are expected to protect against serious illness, hospitalizations, and death in people infected with the Omicron variant, especially for people who have received a booster. COVID-19 vaccines are now authorized for people ages 5 and over. Moderately or severely immunocompromised people ages 5 and over should receive an additional primary dose of vaccine 28 days after their second shot. The COVID-19 booster shots are authorized for all people ages 12 and over. To find a vaccine near you, visit Vaccines.gov.
- Wear a mask. Masks offer protection against all variants. It is recommended that people in Kansas wear a well-fitting mask in public indoor settings, where COVID-19 transmission remains high, regardless of vaccination status.
- Get tested. If you are sick or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, it is recommended that you get tested for COVID-19. COVID-19 tests are available across Kansas. Go to KnowBeforeYouGoKS.com to find a free testing location near you.
At-home tests are available for purchase at grocery stores and pharmacies. If a positive result is received through an at-home test, people should follow up with a health care provider for a confirmation test.
- Social distance. People should avoid large gatherings and stay at least 6 feet from others when in public settings, especially if you are at higher risk of getting sick.